The full $430,000 donated by Edmonton billionaire and Oilers owner Daryl Katz to Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives has now been linked to names directly or closely connected to him, according to public documents and corporate records.
Last week, The Globe and Mail reported that Mr. Katz donated $430,000 in a single cheque to the Conservatives late in the spring campaign when the election hung in the balance. The donation was then divvied up under different names.
The maximum donation during election years in Alberta is $30,000, though Elections Alberta has said some cheque-splitting is allowed.
The Katz donation is under investigation by Elections Alberta and on Wednesday Premier Alison Redford told the legislature that the report “absolutely” will be made public – even though Alberta law allows the results to be kept private.
Already, $300,000 had been linked directly to Mr. Katz when the Conservatives filed their election finance disclosure last week. Mr. Katz gave $30,000, Katz Group $30,000, his wife, Renee, $30,000, his father, Barry, $30,000, and his mother, Ida, $30,000. Another $150,000 was donated by four of Mr. Katz’s direct employees – John Karvellas, Paul Marcaccio, Bob Black, and Jim Low – and their companies.
The money was donated in the final week of the campaign, based on an analysis of Conservatives disclosure on April 22, the day before the election, and the final report dated Oct. 23. No donations connected with Mr. Katz appeared April 22 and the Conservatives at the time said their list wasn’t complete because money was coming in late to the campaign.
The final $130,000 – for the full $430,000 donation – has been identified by Globe and Mail research of public documents and corporate records.
The $130,000 also arrived late in the campaign, going unnoted in the April 22 disclosure.
Two more direct employees of Mr. Katz were identified, who gave $75,000. Brad Gilewich, a director of Katz Group Properties, gave $25,000, and Brad Gilewich Professional Corp. gave $25,000. SPC Investments Ltd. gave $25,000. The sole voting shareholder of SPC – Sawridge Prescription Centre – is Gerald Williams, who runs Katz Group’s C&H, which develops real estate.
Mr. Gilewich declined comment. Mr. Williams didn’t return requests by phone and e-mail for comment.
Mr. Katz, his family, and the first four employees have previously declined comment and a spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Three other people closely connected to Mr. Katz were found. Last October, WAM Development Corp. sold land around the proposed arena for $40-million to the City of Edmonton, which then gave first rights to acquire to Mr. Katz as part of the proposed $450-million arena development deal.
In February, WAM became a development partner with Mr. Katz for the land north of 104 Avenue between 101 and 104 streets, on the ragged edge of downtown Edmonton, a barren expanse of parking lots, and a small casino.
Late in the campaign, three senior WAM executives donated $55,000, which totals $130,000 with the $75,000 from the two additional employees of Mr. Katz’s.
Durstling Family Trust gave $20,000 to the Conservatives. Darren Durstling, CEO of WAM, is a trustee of the trust.
Scott Family Trust gave $20,000 to the Conservatives. Guy Scott, a founding partner of WAM, controls the trust, which is one of three voting shareholders of WAM (along with Durstling Family Trust and the other founder, Peter Edger’s family trust).
Laurie Anderson, senior vice-president of finance at WAM, gave $15,000.
Phone calls and e-mails to Mr. Durstling, Mr. Scott, and Ms. Anderson were not returned.
While $430,000 connected directly or closely with Mr. Katz came late in the campaign, another $50,000 from associates of Mr. Katz was donated to the Conservatives at some point earlier in the election, as it was included in the April 22 disclosure.
WAM Development gave $25,000, and Don Wheaton Ltd. gave $25,000. Mr. Wheaton is co-owner with Mr. Katz and two others of Aurora Jet Partners, an executive jet company.